Japan Powder Road Trip

BDT Lift Assisted Backcountry Tours - Reviews

Unreal Day

Andrew
17/03/2015
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    Advanced
  • Rider Type
    N/A
Had an amazing day with our guide Yuya in the Niseko Back Bowls. Conditions were incredible and Yuya's knowledge of the terrain had us riding fresh powder all day.
Can't wait to get back and ride again with Yuya and Black Diamond

Powder in Rusutsu

George Lin
06/04/2014
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    N/A
  • Rider Type
    N/A
I booked a powder day and got a fantastic day at Rusutsu. The conditions were perfect and our guide led us through the perfect locations that allowed us to get maximum powder while the unguided skiers passed by, oblivious to the great snow just a few meters away.

I would definitely do this again. Our guide had us skiing so much that my legs turned to jelly and I sat out the last hour. I would recommend you book this towards the mid / end of the trip unless you are already in great condition.

Fantastic Guide

Chu
27/01/2014
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    N/A
  • Ability
    N/A
  • Rider Type
    N/A
I was very impressed with our guide Elliot, not only is he experienced but he was very safety concious and very patient with those of us who needed extra help. I would definitely go backcountry skiing with this company again.

Booking and communication prior to the trip is best done on the phone. Email communication is choppy but invoice with paypal link to pay is very efficient.

Renting gear is limited. It is best to come with your own gear.

Epic Day

Josh Holley
22/04/2013
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    N/A
  • Rider Type
    N/A
Josh Holley Review or Rusutsu
During our week long trip to Niseko we elected to try out powder skiing at Rusutsu. From reading the Powderhounds website it appeared that Rusutsu was powderhounds paradise. We had 6 skiers; 4 adults and 2 children all intermediate to advanced skiers. I worked with Andrew Spragg at Black Diamond to arrange the booking. We decided on a private guide so that we could get the most skiing tailored to the ability of the group. I took advantage of the early season sale and booked several months before our trip.
Josh Holley Review or Rusutsu
We were ready to go on the day of the booking. After waiting for 1 hour past the scheduled pickup we had not heard from the Black Diamond crew. I made some calls and there was apparently some confusion with the booking. The good news? We made it to Rusutsu and had one of the most epic days I have skied. Andrew arranged for a guide to pick us up within the hour. Nobu, our guide, almost made me happy we started late! I am not sure my legs could have handled another hour on the snow.

I would definitely recommend this outfit. My only recommendation is to call the day before to confirm! Josh Holley Review or Rusutsu

Rusutsu Guided Tour

Jeffrey Chim
19/04/2013
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    N/A
  • Rider Type
    N/A
I went on a few different tours. Shiribetsu backcountry, chisenpurri/moiwa backcountry, mushroom trip, sapporo teine and sapporo kokusai guided tour and the rusutsu guided tour.

I can't say enough good things about black diamond tours. They were very professional, always willing to email back and forth, and even skype with me to let me know about upcoming tours and confirming pickup times and schedules.

I wanted to do the yotei trip also but unfortunately due to weather didn't get the chance. I will be back to do it again with them for sure. I have to note that they are super flexible in terms of deciding on what tours you want to do. They have a big white board in their office and it seems like for me as a single, I had my pick of what tours to jump onto with 24 hours notice. So I basically got in contact with them every day to see what tours they had going the next day or day after. I managed to jump on the mushroom tour and happy ending tour this way.

The guides I had all knew their stuff. Toby guided me in sapporo and rusutsu. He also took us out to dinner in sapporo and since he lives there he showed us some cool spots. He was quite flexible when guiding as the skill level in my group was of different abilities, he didn't mind me going off on my own.

Mushroom trip was awesome. We got to hit some avalanche barriers and some steep gnarly terrain. We also found a pillow line and the guides got their saws out to cut down some trees for us so we could hit some jumps.

Although I had all my own equipment, most of the other clients didn't but this was usually sorted out quickly in the morning which didn't eat into our time.

I also got a 10% discount on my trips because I did 5 trips with them.

I would highly recommend doing any of their guided tours since you don't waste time trying to find the best spots to ride. I later went back to these resorts on my own but there is no way I would have found all the best stashes without having been shown them first. It would take you so much longer and unless you're at these resorts for weeks at a time you wont find them.

Great Value. Generally you pay 10000 a day for a guide anywhere in the world. More in europe from experience. The group sizes were small which was nice and generally they matched the skill levels pretty well too.

First Class

Thomas Mortimer
01/02/2011
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    18-35
  • Ability
    N/A
  • Rider Type
    N/A
I used BDT for all my backcountry adventures in Japan and they were great from start to finish.

In Niseko I did the backbowl guided tour as part of a group of 3 for which we had 2 guides, Andrew and JS. They both really knew their stuff and safety was paramount at all times. I was briefed prior to hitting the slopes on how to use the avi transmitter and how to use the probe and shovel in the event of an avalanche. One guide always led and then the other was always keeping the group together by staying at the back.

The real fun of the tour was being able to head straight to the best powder stashes in Niseko via the backountry gates. Deep, fresh and untouched! What more could you want? On this tour all of the goods were accessed via lifts and almost all the rides down led back to the lifts. Only one run we did which was skiers left from the top chair lift and went over to the Hanazono side meant we had a long traverse back to the lift. Being a snowboarder for this one was a real bummer and I don't think I've ever sweated so much in my life! A real leg burner on the toe edge! This was only a minor issue on an otherwise epic day which I enjoyed (almost) every minute of!! I honestly couldn't think of a better, safer way to spend an off-piste day than with the BDT guys.

Myself and 2 friends went on to use BD tours another 2 times whilst in Rusutsu, once in-bounds to find the best spots and once to hike Shirebitsu Dake which was possibly the best tour I did!! Highly recommend these guys!

A Day Out with BDT at Niseko

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
29/01/2011
  • Would Revisit
  • Would Recommend
  • Age
    36-50
  • Ability
    Expert
  • Rider Type
    Alpine Skier
  • Month:
    January
If you are travelling to Niseko for the first time and you want to experience the best of the greatest powder on earth; a back bowls tour with Black Diamond Tours should be your number 1 priority.

BDT have many years of experience seeking out the best lines in and around the resort. They know where the crowds head and how to avoid them to get first tracks in Niseko's famous deep dry powder snow.

We highly recommend that you book a "Niseko Back Bowls Tour" for the first available day after you arrive - discover all the secret spots!